All children die

boyhood-treasures.jpg

My son is twelve and there is a pimple in the middle of his chin.  Yesterday morning he says to me, “Why do we have to have pimples, Dad? “  Then he adds, “Why do we have to have pubic hair, too, and all that stuff?  I mean, what’s the point?”

 “You’re asking the wrong person’” I answer.  “I haven’t even worked out why men have nipples yet.” He is twelve; he grins and he moves on. 

Last night we had a boy’s night while his 10-year-old sister went to a school disco.  Off to a games arcade where we worked in tandem to eliminate various virtual baddies and me feeling somehow effeminate in the way I gasp the purple gun and loose off panicky shots at everything that moves; followed by a coffee (his chilled, mine espresso) and then a curry puff as we walk around the markets. 

“Do you want chilli on that?” asks the Indian man behind the counter. 

“Do you want chilli?” I ask my son.  He nods. 

“It’s very hot, Sir,” says the Indian.   

“I know. He likes chilli.  We both do.” 

We walk around the markets eating our curry puffs; we compare it to the food hall in the next street.  My son says, “Well, Dad, it’s more expensive but at least you get chilli.” 

We walk past the bar because he likes to watch drunken people.  I watch him as he watches two buskers and realise that he is growing up and, even though I know all children must die, I suddenly know that I am going to miss him. 

Later, we are driving home and sitting at the lights.  Beck is blaring through the speakers and rain spits half-heartedly at the windscreen.   He turns to me and says quickly, “Love you, Dad.” 

Then we talk about our favourite Beck songs.  But in the silences I do wonder why we have to get pimples, pubic hair and stuff.

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6 Comments

Filed under life, loss, Love, youth

6 responses to “All children die

  1. Doktor Holocaust

    Here’s a theory to pass on to the little one: we get zits and pubic hair and all those other signs of pubescence to make us feel awkward and ugly for no good reason so we have no choice but to develop solid reasons to feel good about ourselves as adults.

  2. It is a shame they have to grow up. I love my teenagers, but I miss the little boys they used to be.

  3. In only being able to have one child, I have come to grips with the fact that all of his stages are just that, and I can’t lament over the loss of any one of them. I can only relish the moment he is in and look forward to the next stage. It still hits though. I’ve just had to answer the question of how you can tell boy babies from girl babies when they are born since they don’t have hair and aren’t wearing any clothes!!!

  4. Its a women conspiracy thing old boy, they give you nipples so you don’t forget mothers day.

  5. Thanks, Dok – nice theory; I’ll try it out.
    I know what you mean, Icedmocha – when they were babies it was like it was going to last forever and then you turn around and it’s over.
    And relishing each stage, as Beauty says, is perhaps the only way to deal with this stuff.
    Arnold, you could be right but who do you think “they” might be…God and his sisters, perhaps?

  6. Doktor Holocaust

    you should hear my theories about the Farm Act and cattle mutilations. On a more relevant note, I think the bulk of adolescence is to make us appreciate adulthood more, to give us a batch of messy mood-swingy zitty awkward rebellious years so that, once we hit our late twenties and have settled down a bit, we get a sense of having made a lot of progress and are more tolerant of the idea that we are adults with experience of the world.

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